On again, off again? Make up your mind already
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On again, off again? Make up your mind already

As Rita Ora and Ricky Hil split for good after getting back with each other twice, we analyse the impact and complications of on-again off-again relationships.

sex and relationships Updated: Oct 09, 2015 13:43 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times
On and off relationships,Relationship Mantras,Relationship advice
British singer-songwriter Rita Ora, and her ex-boyfriend, hip-hop artiste Ricky Hil split for good after getting back with each other twice (left). Singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez also broke up and patched again and again, until they finally parted ways in October last year.

While a number of couples practise the ‘no-strings-attached’ code after breaking up, many just can’t give up on the relationship at one go. A case in point is British singer-songwriter Rita Ora, and her ex-boyfriend, hip-hop artiste Ricky Hil. While the duo recently split, it wasn’t the first time that they have parted ways. In the past, the artistes have often separated, only to come back to each other after some time apart. Ora and Hil are not alone.

Even singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez shared a complicated history of breaking up and patching again, until they finally parted ways in October last year. While celebrities are often in the news for their personal lives, on-again off-again relationships are not rare among non-celebrity couples either.

Unending cycle

Aishwarya Ramnath, 26, and Haresh Savla, 28, both work at the stock exchange, and have been dating for three years. They have broken up several times, but haven’t given up on each other just yet. “I have stopped taking break ups seriously now. Every time we break up, we end up together after a few months. I don’t know what could be the reason for this,” says Ramnath.

The couple work in the same building, and even have similar work timings. “One of the reasons that we end up getting back together is probably because of our professional lives. Whenever I have broken up with Aishwarya, I have missed her, and I’ve always ended up outside her office after a few days, trying to convince her to get back. I guess, the next time we part ways, one of us should leave our job, and start working somewhere else,” says Savla.

Experts feel that one of the reasons for this pattern is the fact that it often becomes difficult for couples to get over each other. “Couples know their strengths and weaknesses. When they part, they miss the good moments, which they had shared in the past. Hence, getting over each other becomes difficult,” says psychotherapist and life coach Neeta V Shetty, adding, “Some people also get insecure after a break up, especially if they don’t find a new partner soon. All these factors play a major role in people getting back together.”

New approach

However, some believe in breaking the pattern, and starting a new life after a couple of sour experiences, something that happened with Mihika Seth, 25, who works for a website, and Nandish Soni, 26, a marketing manager. They dated for four years, and broke up thrice in that duration. After getting back twice, it’s been two months to their third break up.


“I wanted a change in my life. I wasn’t happy with the way things were shaping up in my relationship with Nandish. There were a lot of misunderstandings. In fact, I ended up cheating on Nandish twice. But I came back to him because I wasn’t happy with the other men. I felt I was better off with him,” says Seth.

On the other hand, Soni says that he accepted her back in his life in spite of being aware of her infidelity because he didn’t have an option.

“I didn’t want to start dating a new person. It’s not easy to find love in a city like Mumbai. During the time we were not together, I kept to myself. I knew I would find someone someday, but I never expected it to be Mihika, that too twice,” he says.

But now, Soni has decided to make a clean break, and will soon fly out of the city for a job overseas. “I want to forget my past and move on. I don’t want to go through the same phase again, and repeat the same mistakes. Now, I wish we had never patched up and dated again after the two painful break ups. It’s something that I repent now,” he says.

Putting things into perspective, relationship counsellor Gittanjali V Saxena says that couples should ideally not reunite after splitting once. “Getting back with someone repeatedly is like treating each other like trophies. It’s an unhealthy sign and lacks respect for love,” she says, adding, “Couples should ideally not reunite after a break up.

It is okay if it happens once, but it shouldn’t become a pattern. People in such relationships should totally avoid marriage because if they are not sure of their partner’s love now or are not compatible with the person they are dating, then there are high chances of them straying later.”

(Names of all individuals have been changed)

First Published: Jul 23, 2015 18:32 IST